The Tribune (NZ) - - OPINION -

There were a num­ber of mis­lead­ing and in­ac­cu­rate claims pub­lished in a let­ter from Manawatu Ten­ants’ Union around how Hous­ing New Zealand is man­ag­ing the is­sue of metham­phetamine (P) con­tam­i­na­tion in our prop­er­ties, across the coun­try.

To pro­tect the health and well­be­ing of our ten­ants, Hous­ing New Zealand will test for con­tam­i­na­tion when we have rea­son to be­lieve a prop­erty is con­tam­i­nated with P. Hous­ing New Zealand does not carry out ‘ran­dom’ test­ing. We rely on many gov­ern­ment agen­cies in­clud­ing the NZ Po­lice, as well as neigh­bours and com­mu­ni­ties to alert us to any sus­pected drug use. Our staff are also trained to pick up signs of drug use when vis­it­ing prop­er­ties.

If a prop­erty is pos­i­tive with lev­els above that of the Min­istry of Health (MoH) guide­lines we would not al­low our ten­ants to re­main liv­ing in the prop­erty and will dis­cuss next steps with them. We do this to pro­tect them, their fam­ily, and our com­mu­ni­ties.

If a ten­ant is not re­spon­si­ble for con­tam­i­na­tion, we will sup­port them to move to an­other Hous­ing New Zealand home. If they are re­spon­si­ble for con­tam­i­na­tion through il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity, we will swiftly ter­mi­nate their ten­ancy and sus­pend them from liv­ing in one of our prop­er­ties for one year. This is not a new ap­proach – our zero tol­er­ance ap­proach to drug use in our homes is part of our long-time anti-so­cial be­hav­iour pol­icy and ten­ants are made aware of this when they are pro­vided with a state house.

It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that those peo­ple who con­tam­i­nate homes by abus­ing P are de­priv­ing oth­ers of a home – it is un­fair on both those wait­ing for a state house, who have to wait longer for a house to be­come avail­able, and on in­no­cent fam­i­lies who may need to move out of their state house if it is con­tam­i­nated from a pre­vi­ous ten­ancy.

Paul Com­mons Hous­ing New Zealand Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer


A P con­tam­i­nated house is cleaned up.

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